UM-Dearborn continues to invest in need-based financial aid

June 20, 2024

The university’s $175 million general fund budget was approved by the U-M Board of Regents on June 20.

Students studying in the UM-Dearborn Renick University Center. Photo/Michigan Photography
Students meet up to study in the Renick University Center. Photo/ Emily Barrett-Adkins

The Board of Regents approved UM-Dearborn’s $175 million general fund budget proposal at its June 20 meeting. 

“This year’s budget reflects a commitment to our number one priority — student success,” said Chancellor Domenico Grasso. “Making a Michigan degree accessible, affordable and obtainable for students allows them to realize their dreams and provides the opportunity to build the future they want for themselves and their families.”

The university’s full-tuition assistance programs, led by UM-Dearborn’s signature Go Blue Guarantee, invested approximately $8.2 million in aid to fully cover tuition and fees to more than 1,200 Dearborn Wolverines during the 2023-24 academic year. Tuition will increase 4.7% for full-time, in-state undergraduates and 4.9% for graduate students. This equates to $348 and $460 increases, respectively, per semester. The increase is below the state of Michigan’s dollar tuition restraint amount.

The FY ’25 budget includes a $1.1 million increase in financial aid over the current year’s budget and a modest merit increase for employees effective Sept. 1, said Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Bryan Dadey. One of the biggest challenges when planning the FY ’25 budget was the impact of insurance increases and the rate of inflation, Dadey said. For example, university health care costs are going up nearly 12%, and other insurance costs, such as property and casualty insurance, will increase by as much as 32%. These increases, when added together and compounded with last year’s health insurance increase, almost $2 million.

“Our budget is balanced, but it required a $1.5 million reduction in unit operating funds, which we were able to do in a way that will not impact student learning,” Dadey said. “It was challenging to reduce because we are a university that is practical and thoughtful with its spending, but each unit — and they know their students’ needs best — identified ways to reduce their spending. We are already starting on the FY ’26 budget to determine the impact if higher insurance and inflation rates persist.”

There is good news when looking at the next academic year — despite shrinking K-12 demographics, the university’s overall student population is projected to grow slightly. In addition, the Michigan Legislature is discussing a modest 2.5% increase in higher education support, including further investment in the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. The state budget is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. 

Article by Sarah Tuxbury.